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Pickled Fish, A Plethora of Textures, and Memories of a Holiday Trip to Denmark #FishFridayFoodies

It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' April 2020 event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. 

And this month, I am hosting. I asked the bloggers to share recipes that were inspired by their travels. I wrote: "Pick a seafood recipe that you ate while away from home that you were inspired to re-create when you got home! Ceviche in a Latin American country? Paella in Spain? Bring it all!" 

When I selected this topic earlier in the year, I had no idea that most of us would be sheltered-in-place for nearly a month by posting date as we all attempted to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic. So, traveling virtually, by tabletop, is even more important; at least it gives me a glimpse of trips I want to take. Here's the line-up from the #FishFridayFoodies...

Recipes Inspired by Travels

Memories of a Holiday Trip to Denmark

For Christmas 2018, we traveled to Denmark to visit friends. We split our time, fairly evenly, between a family in Lynge who used to live here in California and Ry where my best friend from when I worked in Rome lives with her husband and two kids. The trip was a long time coming in that I had never met Rikke's husband, Martin, or their two kids before! And she had been to California to visit me three times.

It was so nice to be with friends who are practically family - to live in their homes for the holiday season and do less-than-touristy things. And I had to share the poster from Heathrow Airport: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."


Don't get me wrong: we visited museums and saw local sites.

But, most of the time, we cooked, ate, drank, played games, and just spent time together.

During several meals, I noticed an intriguing plethora of textures on the plates.

Our Christmas Eve dinner in Lynge included pickled fish, roasted pork, shrimp, hardboiled eggs, pickles, rye bread, and more. Soft, crisp, interesting.

A snack we had at café inside ARoS Aarhus Art Museum included pickled mushrooms and sea beans, pickled red onions, fish spread, sea buckthorn preserves, and rye bread. So, again, more combinations of things that spread and things that snapped.

I have always loved pickled fish, but I have never made it myself, despite pickling just about everything I can get my hands on, such as Pickled Blueberries, Pickled Peppers, Pickled Quail Eggs, and Pickled Garlic Scapes...just to name a few! I have done Pickled Shrimp, but never fish. This was the time. I also did some reading into the history of pickling fish in Scandinavia.

So, the Vikings were preserving their fish hauls long before refrigeration was invented or convenient. They used a basic combination of salt and vinegar. And that tradition persists today throughout all of Scandinavia. Typically it's herring that's used, but as I couldn't get my hands on any herring, I used a kind of snapper.

Ingredients makes 1 jar

  • 1 pound fish, deboned and skin removed (I used a wild caught snapper)
  • 1 C vinegar (I used white vinegar)
  • 1 C water
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 T salt
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 t whole allspice
  • 1 t yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 t coriander seeds
  • 1 t black peppercorns (I used 4 peppercorn blend)
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced in rings


Place the cloves, allspice, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in the bottom of a small mason jar.

Slice the fish into 1" wide strips. This was more for aesthetics and I wanted to coil the fish in my jar. But you can also just slice the fish into 1" cubes. Layer in the fish and alternate with red onion slices. Gently press down on the fish so that there is a gap between the top of the jar and the lid.

Bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil. Add in the sugar and let simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from the heat and let cool to room temp.

Pour the cooled liquid over the fish and place in the refrigerate. Let it pickle for 3 to 4 days before serving. You can store and serve for up to 3 weeks.

We served this with buttered rye bread, some cheese from Norway (Gjetost), more pickles, and hardboiled eggs. It was a delicious lunch...and we reminisced about our adventures in Denmark.

Till we get to travel again, we'll just have to keep making foods that remind us of our adventures.


  1. Such great memories! I love these photos. Hopefully we will all get to travel again soon.

  2. I knew it was just a matter of time until you pickled some fish are the pickling queen.

  3. Beautiful travel and food memories! Such great pictures - and I have had that cheese when I visited Norway! That totally brought bake a taste memory! :)

  4. Beautiful memories, I too loved Denmark, love the idea of pickling raw fish. I do pickle fish, but, that which is cooked.


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